I flew up, higher and higher, the other birds flying in formation all around me. We soared in intricate patterns, forming shapes for those humans who bothered to watch the birds that flew overhead. Shaping ourselves into a vast spiral, we dived toward earth, gathering speed as we fell.
Each of us pulled up at the last second, and soared high again. The freedom of flying was an outstanding feeling. I could go anywhere I wanted. The world was wide open for me. I belonged to no one. And no one belonged to me. I was myself, and that was all that mattered.
My flock came to a standstill, each of us perched along an electrical wire. We stared down at the humans passing below us, each of them subject to the gaze of one or more of the flock.
It was time. The first of the younglings ruffled his wings, and then took off, diving toward a human carrying a sandwich. Opening its beak, it snatched the food from the man just as he was about to bite it. The flock let out a raucous cheeping, congratulating our companion. The rest of the younglings all followed suit, and each succeeded.
It was my turn now, time to show them how to steal something other than food. Below, a small, portly man trudged along, a cover worn sideways on his head. I dived. As I came closer, I made out the small goatee that covered his chin, and some sort of black covers over his eyes. I snatched the cover from his head, and he swatted at me, but I was long gone. His yells of “My hat, you little shit” echoed after me as I soared away, returning to the freedom of flight.